Alabama’s shorelines stretch hundreds of miles. This can only mean one thing – it is a great place for a beach vacation and water adventure. Here’s a look at the top three beach getaways in the state.
Known for their soft white sands, Gulf Shores’ beaches extend eight miles and provide a host of watersports opportunities. Popular activities include jet skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides. If you’re looking for a unique waterfront experience, head to Fort Morgan Beach, a 19th century military base with divine views and a smaller crowd compared to other beaches in the city.
The Gulf Shores Public Beach is a popular spot for lounging and relaxation. Its turquoise waters and white sands are a big draw for tourists, as are its restaurants, beachside bars and watersports opportunities. It can get quite crowded during mid-day so plan your arrival earlier in the day or during evening hours.
Dauphin Island may very well be Alabama’s best-kept secret. It is home to two beautiful public and privately owned beaches, as well as lush beachfront parks. The island also happens to be one of the best places for bird-watching in the Southeast, home to over 300 species of birds. Fishing is also a popular activity in the island waters.
A major attraction is the Estuarium aquarium housing a stingray touch pool and species native to the state. Another is Fort Gaines, a historic fort with American Civil War exhibits, guided tours and historical reenactments.
The beach city in Baldwin County has several beach-lined hotels and condos. A popular vacation destination for families, Orange Beach offers dolphin cruises and a range of recreational opportunities. You can take a kayak or boat to Orange Beach Islands comprising of four different islands, which serve as a park/recreational area. Boating and bird-watching are popular activities on the islands. Visitor traffic increases during long holiday weekends, and island parties are common during Memorial Day weekend.
Tips on planning your trip
Alabama’s beaches are teeming with tourists during the summer months. Consider visiting in November or December when the crowds are thinner, hotel deals abound, the temperatures are cooler, and there are a slew of festivals and events, including Snowbird Bratfest, Orange Beach Seafood Festival & Car Show and the Mardi Gras Boat Parade.